INTERESTING TO SEE NYT Best-selling author Neil Strauss doing the media rounds lately promoting his latest book – ‘The Truth‘.
Strauss is probably best known for infiltrating a secret underground society of ‘pick-up’ or seduction experts and documenting his journey from shy, introverted, unlucky in love geek to the world’s best PUA (pick-up artist) in ‘The Game‘.
The book was a huge success and helped spawn numerous reality TV shows, thousands of books, businesses offering training boot camps and controversy of course about the questionable ethics and nefarious tactics used to seduce women.
Nevertheless, single men the world over were undeterred and a movement that was borne on internet forums eventually moved to nightclubs and the bars of major cities where they could talk ‘game’ with each other and compare field notes.
In an interview I saw of Strauss on Irish television recently, he seemed uncomfortable with his former life even though it must have been very lucrative financially and professionally.
I also look back at that time a decade ago with mild embarrassment because I, like millions of other single men, lapped it up using other peoples tried and tested techniques and put my own stamp on them. Some of the crap I was spouting was hilarious.
For example, when talking to a woman I was attracted to I would educate her on the following crucial issues:
“You look stressed”
“Is it obvious?”
“Not always. A good way to test your stress levels is by pressing two fingers on the inside of your wrist like this (a bubble would form on the inside wrist with the pressure). Let me show you.”
I press her wrist and she sees the same strange bubble formation. This interaction works well for three reasons. Initiates physical contact. Establishes me as someone who is interesting. Starts a conversation.
“You know the Ancient Mayans around 5000 years ago would play a game with people they had just met. It was a way to better understand the persons personality and whether they could be trusted. It’s also fun and can tell you a lot about your own life. Want to play?”
“But I need to see if you would make a good candidate first.”
“Two questions. Are you a creative person?”
“Do you have a good imagination?”
“Perfect. What I need you to do is close your eyes and visualise a desert landscape with a blue sky cutting the image in two halves. Can you see it?”
“OK, somewhere in that picture you see a Cube…”
Therein follows a ten minute visualisation and cold reading game which always ends with the person being amazed at your insightful observations (if done correctly!).
HUMAN LIE DETECTOR
“You know I can tell when you’re lying!”
“I’m serious! I’ll give you an example. What colour is your front door?”
“You looked up and to the left. You’re accessing memory from that part of the brain, so you look up to that area each time you want to recall. Next question. What would you like to achieve by this time next year?”
“You’re looking up and right as you think about this. That means you’re being creative – making something up, or in another circumstance lying. Let’s test it – do you have a boyfriend?”
A lot of these little games peppered the conversation in a bid to be entertaining and by and large served their purpose, but I was reading from a learnt script and going through a range of motions to generate an interest in the opposite sex.
In the end, this false identity didn’t feel sincere and I could never feel comfortable if someone expressed an attraction because it wasn’t really me, so I eventually cut out the parlour tricks to be more honest and interested in the other person.
Not that it did much good. I’m still single 🙂